West Seattle, Washington
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
That’s how Joe Nguyen reacted on Election Night to news the first vote count had him way ahead in the race for 34th District State Senator.
That’s how things have been since then, he told us during a recent conversation … and he’s not even officially in office yet.
We requested an interview to check in once the vote was certified, and sat down to chat on a recent Saturday morning at C & P Coffee Company (WSB sponsor) – where, one month earlier, we photographed him rallying supporters – including U.S. Rep Pramila Jayapal – for one last campaign push.
That’s the “before” photo … and here’s the “after”:
Don’t recognize the site? It’s the Wildlife Garden at Camp Long. This reader report explains what happened:
The Wildlife Garden at Camp Long was restored to its former glory as part of an Eagle Scout project completed last weekend. Despite the dismal weather conditions, over 30 volunteers pitched in to clear weeds and brush, reconstruct pathways, lay bark and gravel, build two planter boxes and plant new foliage.
Jackson Carney of West Seattle Boy Scout Troop 282, who organized and led the project, would like to thank West Seattle Nursery, Talarico’s, West Seattle Thriftway, John Demyanovich Construction, and West Seattle Fence Company, who supported this endeavor.
You are likely more used to seeing Tyler Lockett in a Seahawks uniform – but today the wide receiver was decked out in a T-shirt promoting the Book It! reading initiative as he visited West Seattle Elementary, where those welcoming him enthusiastically included principal Pamela McCowan-Conyers:
Lockett read to the students, of course:
The book “Secret Pizza Party” by Adam Rubin and Daniel Salmieri synergized with the fact that Book It! is sponsored by Pizza Hut, which takes the program to thousands of elementary schools around the country every year.
(Photo from the first of two Special Olympics Polar Plunges held at Alki in 2010 & 2011)
For the first time in eight years, Special Olympics of Washington is bringing its Polar Plunge fundraiser back to Alki Beach – and it’s hoping to make a really huge splash. The event set for 1 p.m. Saturday, February 9th, is aimed at setting a world record:
For the Seattle Polar Plunge on Saturday, February 9, polar plungers everywhere are invited to help break the Guinness World Record for the most simultaneous polar plungers. More than 1,800 participants with warm hearts and nerves of steel are needed to crush the current Guinness World Record set in 2015 in Poland.
This will be the biggest one of six Special Olympics-benefiting Polar Plunges around the state in early 2019. It’ll feature police volunteers, as it’s supported by the Special Olympics Law Enforcement Torch Run, but all are welcome to participate – you can register here.
(P.S. This is not related to the New Year’s Day Polar Bear Swim at Alki – still awaiting official word on that!)
Two weeks ago, the City Council talked about a “best-case scenario” for moving toward a vote on HALA Mandatory Housing Affordability upzoning, since the city Hearing Examiner upheld most of the plan’s Final Environmental Impact Statement. Today, neighborhood advocates sent us the schedule that councilmembers are circulating – including a deadline of tomorrow for potential amendments, and a final vote on March 18th if all proceeds without a hitch:
The timetable is not yet (as of this writing) on the official city page for the City Council’s Select Committee on MHA. The amendments will be closely watched, as our area’s Councilmember Lisa Herbold noted at the meeting earlier this month that they could be a way to address some of the concerns that led to the appeal.
One full year after announcing Scott Kubly‘s departure, Mayor Jenny Durkan has just announced her choice to succeed him: Sam Zimbabwe, from Washington, D.C. Here’s the official announcement:
Mayor Jenny A. Durkan and community leaders announced today that she is nominating transit and transportation project delivery expert Sam Zimbabwe to be the next Director of the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT), pending Council confirmation. Zimbabwe currently serves as the Chief Project Delivery Officer for Washington, D.C.’s District Department of Transportation (DDOT), a role that unites planning, traffic engineering, transit, and capital projects.
“Sam is the right person to help build a transportation system of the future, keep people and goods moving in Seattle, and deliver on essential projects for taxpayers. For decades, our region has been playing catch-up on its transportation needs. As more public and private mega projects lead to serious traffic disruptions downtown, the next few years will be critical for creating more safe, efficient, and well-connected transportation choices that make it easier and safer for residents to get around on foot, by bike, and via mass transit for decades to come. With a number of significant projects in the pipeline, I am confident Sam is ready to deliver on investments that will help us create a city of the future,” said Mayor Durkan.
“I am honored to have the opportunity to help keep Seattle moving, build a transit and transportation system for the next generation, and deliver on projects for the people of Seattle,” said Sam Zimbabwe. “Seattle is entering a new era of transit and transportation that will require effective delivery of capital projects along with a focus on giving more people access to safe options for walking, biking, and using transit.”
Zimbabwe’s nomination comes after an extensive public input and national search process that included candidates from across the United States. Following the departure of the previous director, Mayor Durkan oversaw an extensive review and reshaping of SDOT so the department could better deliver on projects. In May, Mayor Durkan announced a search committee that included nearly a dozen business, transportation, labor, and community leaders. The search for a new director of SDOT also included an extensive community outreach process. After conducting interviews with applicants, the Search Committee submitted their recommendations for finalists to Mayor Durkan, who interviewed the finalists earlier this month.
“We are excited about the Mayor’s selection and confident that Sam is the right person to help deliver forward-thinking, accountable leadership for SDOT and to deliver on the crucial Move Seattle projects. Seattle’s transportation decisions have an impact throughout our region, and this is a critical role at a critical time. In less than one month, Seattle will enter years of transportation challenges as the Alaskan Way Viaduct closes and several other transportation and construction projects converge. At the same time, our region is in the midst of expanding light rail, increasing bus service, and building safer bike infrastructure,” said Search Committee Co-Chairs Betty Spieth-Croll, Co-Chair of the Levy to Move Seattle Oversight Committee, and Marilyn Strickland, President and CEO of the Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce. “Through all of this, we will need to provide residents, businesses, and visitors additional options for moving in and through Seattle. We look forward to working with Sam for years to come.”
Before assuming the role of Chief Project Delivery Officer, Zimbabwe served as the Associate Director of DDOT’s Planning and Sustainability Division. Prior to joining DDOT, Zimbabwe was the Director of the Center for Transit-Oriented Development at Reconnecting America. In that role, he led planning and technical assistance projects focused on transit and transit-oriented development with local and national philanthropic foundations and public agencies around the country. He also has experience as an urban designer. He holds a master’s degree in city planning and urban design from the University of California, Berkeley, and a bachelor’s degree in urban and regional studies from Cornell University.
The photo above is from the DDOT website.
(October 2017 photo by WSB’s Christopher Boffoli)
A King County Superior Court judge has ruled that 27-year-old Kierra M. Ward is now competent to stand trial in the October 2017 stabbing attack on an Admiral woman out for a walk with her baby. The ruling on Monday followed Ward being sent to Western State Hospital for competency restoration, after she was found incompetent in July. The next step in the case, according to documents from Monday’s hearing, is a sanity evaluation, because her lawyer has indicated that Ward will pursue the insanity defense. The evaluation is to be done before her next hearing, which is set for January 10th. Ward is charged with one count of first-degree assault and one count of second-degree assault and remains jailed in lieu of $400,000 bail.
(Rendering by Hybrid Architecture)
More than two years after a mostly microhousing proposal for 5952 California SW went through the Early Design Guidance stage of Administrative Design Review, it’s back for the second round. The project is now described as 29 microapartments (Small Efficiency Dwelling Units) and six other apartments (described in the new design packet as 1 bedrooms and lofts) with five offstreet-parking spaces (in a zone where none are required). Here’s the design packet (126 MB PDF). The formal notice isn’t out yet so there’s no deadline yet for comments, but you can send yours to the assigned planner, firstname.lastname@example.org.
P.S. We noted last year that the site was for sale. County records do not yet show it having changed hands. When we first reported in spring 2016 on plans to redevelop the site, replacing a 1925 house, it had a 48-unit proposal.
Here are the highlights for the rest of your Tuesday, from the WSB West Seattle Holiday Guide and Event Calendar:
NAVOS DRIVE: Friday is the last day for this West Seattle-based holiday drive:
Make the holidays brighter for some of the most vulnerable children, youth, and adults in our community with a gift of gift cards (grocery stores or Target preferred), or children’s books (in English and Spanish) for all ages. Financial donations (tax-deductible) also make a big difference! Navos and our partner organizations, Seattle Children’s Home and Ruth Dykeman Children’s Center, invite you to make wishes come true this holiday season! Donations may be dropped off at Navos’ West Seattle campus at 2600 SW Holden Street through Friday, December 21st at 4:00 pm, or picked up by arrangement at email@example.com. Together we can help hundreds of vulnerable children, youth, adults, and families living in poverty to have a happy holiday!
(2600 SW Holden)
SANTA PHOTOS: Running late with yours? Santa is at Westwood Village daily through Christmas Eve – schedule here. (2600 SW Barton)
HOLIDAY MUSIC: Alex Baird at West Seattle Thriftway (WSB sponsor), 4-7 pm. (4201 SW Morgan)
ALKI LIGHT SHOW: You’re invited to watch tonight’s edition of the 2018 Uehara-Bingen Xmas Lights Show on Alki! Be there at 6:15 pm for the 30-minute show that starts at 6:30 pm. More info in our Holiday Guide. (1736 Alki SW)
FREE GROUP RUN: Track workout run with West Seattle Runner (WSB sponsor), 6:30 pm. Meet at the shop. (2743 California SW)
EVENING BOOK GROUP: 6:30 pm at High Point Library. This month’s title is “The Warmth of Other Suns” by Isabel Wilkerson. (3411 SW Raymond)
WSHS WINTER CONCERT: You’re invited to enjoy a free concert at West Seattle High School, 7 pm, with the Jazz Ensemble. (3000 California SW)
Got something for our calendar or Holiday Guide (which runs through New Year’s)? Send it! Thank you.
Six days after a standing-room-only turnout in Fauntleroy, it’s your last day to comment on the newest proposal for a major change in the Washington State Ferries schedule for the so-called Triangle Route. Here again is the proposal:
Comments can be e-mailed by tonight – WSFPlanning@wsdot.wa.gov. Ferries management has the final say, and plans to put a new schedule in place in March.
P.S. Though it’s not about the schedule, the much-anticipated UW study about improving loading at Fauntleroy is now out – you can read about it here.
(SDOT MAP with travel times/ Is the ‘low bridge’ closed? LOOK HERE/ West Seattle-relevant traffic cams HERE)
7:15 AM: Good morning. So far no traffic incidents or transit alerts reported in our area.
Only one thing is crystal-clear on that security video: Only one minute elapsed between another vehicle pulling up alongside Christine‘s husband’s black 1995 Pathfinder, and a thief driving the Pathfinder away. It happened in Sunrise Heights early Saturday, and we just got the report and video from Christine late Monday night. We’re awaiting the plate # so we can add it, but there’s a distinguishing feature: “KU stickers on the back window.” If you see it, call 911.
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